Kenya Barris Set to Write and Direct Richard Pryor Biopic

kenya barris and richard pryor (Credit: Shutterstock)

A feature film about late comedian Richard Pryor is in the works, with Black-ish creator Kenya Barris set to write and direct.

The project will mark Barris’ first time directing a feature film.

“Pryor had a voice that was distinctly his and, in many ways, comedy since then has been derivative of what he created. To me, this is a film about that voice, the journey that shaped it, and what it took for it to come to be,” Barris said in a statement Monday to The Hollywood Reporter.

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The yet-to-be-titled MGM film will focus on Pryor’s Emmy and Grammy Award-winning career as a stand-up comedian, writer, and actor.

Kenya Barris will produce the biopic via his Khalabo Ink Society banner, along with Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee Pryor, and Tory Metzger for Levantine Films. Adam Rosenberg and Levantine’s Renee Witt will executive produce.

Still, as Cinemabland reports, other attempts to bring Pryor’s story to the big screen have fallen through.

Known for his cutting observations, the comedian appeared in more than 50 movies. His body of work included concert and movie recordings of his stand-up performances. He also co-wrote the film Blazing Saddles with Mel Brooks, and co-hosted the Academy Awards twice.